Our Readers' Opinions
May 27, 2016
Canouan Resorts Development Ltd Lease Ratification Act #4 of 1990 – disgraceful!

Editor: THE LEASE: This lease is made on the 31st day of October, 1990 between JAMES FITZ-ALLEN MITCHELL Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, acting for and on behalf of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (Lessor) and Canouan Resorts Development Ltd a wholly owned subsidiary of Gesfid SA (Lessee).

This lease is a 99-year agreement for 1,200 acres of the 1,800 acre Canouan island.{{more}}

Among other things, the lease states:

1. APPENDIX A: All that piece, portion or parcel of the island of Canouan… comprising the entire Northern section of the island bounded on the Northern, Eastern and Western sides by the sea.

This designation is a clear violation of the Three Chains Act of 1926 as amended by ACT #3 of 1978, an ACT for settling the title to land on the seashore in St Vincent and commonly called the Three Chains. This ACT, among other things, states:

1. Whereas when the lands of the Island of Saint Vincent were originally granted, the Commissioners appointed by His Majesty King George the Third for the sale and disposal of the same, reserved around the coast of the said Island a strip or belt of land of Three Chains in breadth running inwards from high water mark (hereinafter called “the Three Chains”).

2. Her Majesty, Her heirs and Successors, may from time to time erect forts or batteries and also buildings of a public nature for the use of St Vincent and the Grenadines on any part or parts of the said Three Chains not previously occupied by buildings without paying compensation therefore.

3. The public shall continue to have and enjoy all rights of way through the said Three Chains as now and heretofore used or enjoyed.

For the Lessor to afford the Lessee the right to boundary with the sea, the Lessor has hereby:

1. Abdicated the rights of the State and in essence has given the Lessee the Twelve mile zone limit or whatever limit is allowed by International standards.

2. Similarly the Three Chains Act does not apply to the Lessee.

Chapter 7(h) of the Lease agreement states: “That persons may be authorized to enter the premises upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the Lessor and the Lessee.”

Chapter 8: COVENANTS OF THE LESSOR: That the Lessor hereby covenants with the Lessee as follows:

8(c )(i) To relocate the fishermen and their boats from where they are now camped to a location outside the Premises which is suitable both for their accommodation and the safe hauling of their boats; and

8(c)(ii) To compensate at the Lessee’s expense the owners of farm animals which are presently within the Premises for those animals.

The fact that the Lessee in the covenant had to compensate the farmers and fishermen in the area so leased, says that the area was not fallow, but that the residents of Canouan had by tradition used the land and the beach as a means of their livelihood.

8(c )(q) To waive and hereby waives any right the Lessor may have to compulsorily acquire the Premises or any interest in the Premises.

That the Lessor has waived its right to compulsory acquisition is a clear indication of subverting Sec. 6(1) of the Constitution.

It is important to note that the Lessee are a group of foreign white European investors, whose repute we cannot often verify. Think of Allan Stanford, Thierry Nano, William Wise, among others, who are now languishing in prisons, because of their ponzi schemes with which they lured our legislators. The natives are mainly blacks. It is inconceivable that a Cabinet of elected Representatives could be so insensitive to pass a law supporting a lease agreement, which, in many instances, subverts the existing laws and the Constitution, for 99 years. Though not as rabid as slavery was, the mental scars are so engraved that the Vincentian black man is beginning to accept the thought that he cannot be in the leadership role. He sees himself as subservient to the white man, accepting only the menial jobs offered him. After the many struggles of William Wilberforce and others to bring an end to slavery; after the many protests by Martin Luther King Jr and many other Civil Rights leaders to get the white man to accept that the black man is a human being also. After the short, but very successful era of the Black Power Movement in helping to emancipate the black man from mental slavery, how can we as a Vincentian people accept the Canouan Lease agreement and the utter rubbish that is legitimized as Up-Market Tourism in Canouan? In an era where we have lived to realize Martin Luther King Junior’s dream that a totally black woman, Michelle Obama, can occupy the seat of First Lady in the White House in the onetime racially tensed America, we should really be ashamed that we have created and are creating a Synthetic Slave Society in St Vincent and the Grenadines and in Canouan, in particular. Some may disagree, but the moiety is the same. We complain of the excessively high crime and murder rate among our youth. The youth are rebelling, because we have created measures that make them feel as though they are the scum of the society. They feel frustrated and hopeless, and we create very little opportunities to make them feel otherwise.

Sir Hilary Beckles, UWI VICE-CHANCELLOR, in April, 2016, delivering a lecture in Barbados on the topic: SLAVERY AND THE 1816 REBELLION, said: “The Barbados society in its current structure is not sustainable…This Economic White Supremacy System is subversive to democracy. There is in Barbados, a division of labour which says that the black community will occupy and control the politics and the white elite will control the economy… All of us as citizens of Barbados have to examine this model and transform it. It has to be transformed in order to fulfill the visions of our ancestors in General Bussa’s time, General Green and Clement Payne… It can only be done if the economic democracy is revitalized and insisted upon because, in my judgment, the young people of this land deserve a more democratic society. They have paid their price in history for democracy and freedom.”

Cecil “Blazer” Williams, lawyer, political activist, newspaper columnist and chair of both the Public Service and Police Service Commissions here in SVG, writing in THE NEWS of 15th April, 2016 on the topic: OF BEACHES, DEVELOPMENT AND SELF-RESPECT wrote: “I have spent many years of my life writing about the need to protect our beaches from being alienated from our people as we try to find ways and means to develop our country… Developers are given all that they want… Giving them what they want may mean cutting off tracks or walks which give access to beaches where their white guests may be hanging out. The implication is that black people make white people uncomfortable and as such attempts must be made openly or subtly to keep them away. By implication, we are admitting that the very developers and their guests are racists!…Development must not be seen as those who have the money being able to buy their way into heaven, kicking out the angels in the process.”

Dr Ralph Gonsalves, then Leader of the Opposition said: “The people of Canouan have to put up with the indignity of having their ancestral and historic rights being taken away from them. They cannot go to the beach. The natives of Canouan need passes as if they were in South Africa in the days of Apartheid under Botha and Voster.” (THE VINCENTIAN, 23/12/1999) Today, after 15 years of his Prime ministerial leadership, you go to any of the three resorts. If you are white, you walk, accompanied, drive or be driven; no question asked. If you are black, you first have to declare your purpose, or you are turned back. If permission is given, you are escorted.

Terry Bynoe, a social activist and native of Canouan has had an injunction brought against him by the “Developers”. For 16 years and continuing, he will be trespassing if he goes on any portion of that 1,200 acre plot of land. He cannot use what used to be an existing public road. He cannot go to any of the beaches. One is amazed that a Court of Black Officers/Officials can grant such an injunction against a Black Brother whose ancestors came on the same slave ship as theirs, captained by the ancestors of the White Foreigners whom they are protecting and who, in the process, are manufacturing a “SYNTHETIC SLAVERY” society.

Toussaint L’Ouverture, William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Junior, Stokeley Carmichael, Marcus Garvey, Uriah Buzz Buttler, Eric Williams, Cuffy, Walter Rodney, Bussa, Joseph Chatoyer, George Mc Intosh and Ebenezer Joshua, among others, would end up in the “Madhouse” if they were to return to witness this type of BEND-BACKWARD accommodation being afforded to the White man to re-enslave their off-spring.


by Matthew Thomas